ROUNDUP: The Fall 2019 Collection

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Catching up on the local scene used to be … well, a lot quicker, bud. Burlington has never been quite so full, and there are lil’ micro-scenes popping off in almost all 14 counties. (Is there Essex County hip hop? Shoot me a message if so.)

This is all very good. The sound spectrum in these mountains is more diverse than ever, and better still, most of these crews are extending their DIY hustle to include finding venues to promote their own shows.

The rap music business is like pro wrestling is most aspects, and here’s an important one: you have to constantly recruit new fans. Not just for your own crew — for rap music, period. You have to create an abundance of opportunities for younger heads to have their first proper Rap Show Experience. Some of those fans will become artists in their own right, and the circle of life continues.

So for today’s roundup, let’s take another look at some new names and some fresh local produce.

First up, KP K12, aka K Prince, has been improving like crazy in the past year. “Hard Work and Dedication” is his most focused, effective songwriting yet, tearing through a personal & heartfelt verse. In an era of opiate rap, it’s also dope to see a rap single that explicitly advocates working hard and living a good life. Befitting such a strong track, KP gave this the DVP Cinematography treatment. Miles Goad is a serious talent behind the lens, and as always, this looks fantastic.

FMG Mack has been crafting quality trap projects for awhile now, and he’s got it dialed in cold for “Dangerous,” his new single/video with prolific director Vego Harris. And check out those numbers — this puppy is about to break 60k views. He’s got a new project on the way, too: after Locally Worldwide drops next month, FMG Mack might have a whole new career on his hands. Stay tuned.

Elias Green is part of the Savvy Row crew, who have managed to make a lot of noise in 2019. They’ve built a real deal fanbase through passionate live shows and strong projects with an off-kilter sense of fun. Rapper Blaze Ryan snagged the Intercontinental Championship at VTHH SUMMERSLAM 2019, and they’ve got some big gigs coming up this fall. “Green Vibes,” a verdant video by Nick Plouffe, is an introduction to Green’s melodic, endearingly goofy style. Also, he smokes weed.

Marvelous Kevo has been busy and hungry in 2019, and this Quebeats directed video for “Millennium Magic” is one of his strongest efforts so far. A high energy video for a catchy track, everything here works. Kevo is another artist with a sharp learning curve, making huge strides in sound quality and songwriting. He’s always had a natural flow — and some cutting rhyme schemes in the mix, too — and he stays cooking in the studio, so 2020 should almost definitely be a breakout year for the Marvelous one.

Finally, we turn to Fresh, who recently dropped a dope, gritty video for the debut single off his forthcoming album, Dougie. “Time is Money” features Philly legend Reef The Lost Cauze, who gives it all on his guest verse here. That’s respect. The song itself is a dark, banging piece of work, with a beat that balances modern trap with throwback boom bap. If the rest of this album is polished as this single, that project could make some real waves on the East Coast.

Justin Boland